Smiling yellow suns and moons, stars
painted on the pocket book’s royal blue cover

a “Made in China” sticker on the old fashioned
marbled endpaper, with your fingertips

you can feel the fine greenish lines on the cream pages
a ribbon bookmark keeps the place.

On the pages are wild jottings conjured from
the neighbourhood’s quiet corners, some

notes for teaching—the best way to teach irony
is to write it on the blackboard

scribbled shopping lists, a phone number
a tracing of a gum leaf

fingerprints and ink smudges obscure
the words: brush, paper, inkpot,

—some illegible words—then holiday
steamy Sydney town where an inner city street

explodes with a shock of insane children like the fruit
bats in the sky squawking and flapping, frantic to get home—



Twilight is mosquito time when a day’s deprecations
nibble at auras that’s when demons can sneak into a heart.

Shrieks and shouting from a cheery-red-roofed house:
a couple play tit for tat, the game of choice

for warring husbands and wives.
Like any house the mind has dark corners and

that’s where the demons settle. The kids won’t keep it
together this time.  Think disconnect the brakes

or poisoned cakes but before the recipe is found
the rats are back nibbling at the auras.

A flare-up cleaves hearts, the killing words said
a kitchen implement screams blood, later dragged out by

the paramedics—a final sky full of stars—hell
is other people.  Sirens, blue lights strobe the street.

Yellow tape and chalk line cordon the scene.
Viewers bask in the tragedy, glad it’s them and not us.


poet's biography ->